Balancing Life Is A Lie And, Yes, There’s a Better Way
Let’s have a little fun. Stand up. Pull one foot back to your butt until you can feel a nice stretch in the front of your thigh. Make sure your free hand is not touching anything. Now stand there for 5 minutes. If you foot touches the ground or if your free hand touches anything, you failed.
A simple quad stretch seems, well, simple. You just need to stand on one foot. But it’s not as easy as it sounds because it requires balance. And balance is a tricky thing.
Balance is such a nice sounding word. It actually sounds kinda peaceful. But balance is difficult. It requires an even distribution of weight so you can remain steady and stable.
While doing your quad stretch (Yes, I am trusting you that you actually did it.), you may have actually been balanced for a moment. But then something happened…
• You moved ever so slightly.
• Your child bumped you.
• You looked in a different direction.
And you had to put your other foot back on the ground or grab something with your free hand. You were balanced but then you lost your balance. You failed, and now you’re a failure.
That’s how life feels sometimes. Okay, a lot of times.
We feel like a failure because we cannot balance work and family and everything else. Even if you happen to achieve balance for a moment, balance is not sustainable. You cannot live life with one foot off the ground. As soon as life changes or shifts, you lose your balance and have to work to achieve balance again.
Have you ever stopped and wondered who made balance our goal in life? I’m pretty sure it was some marketing guru who knew he could sell a lot of product because it would sound so appealing…a balanced life. Ahhhhh. I honestly don’t know who imposed this lie on us, but we can create a new goal. A new way to measure whether we’re winning. Let’s do it!
There are so many demands and responsibilities coming at us, we need a way to manage our lives. What if we could live life with both feet on the ground? Wouldn’t it be nice to quit living life with only one foot on the ground…or trying to just have one foot on the ground?
Instead of living a balanced life, what if we learned to lean into what is in front of us (the important) and what has to be done by us (the urgent)?
Balance says treat all things equal. Distribute the weight of life equally. But all things are not equal.
Leaning means turning your attention to what is important and/or urgent. When what is in front of you has your attention, you can see the meaning in what you’re leaning into. Leaning creates meaning.
Leaning is looking at all of your demands and responsibilities and deciding what or who you need to lean into first. You give that thing or person your attention and energy. Then you lean into the next thing or person. Then the next.
Leaning allows you to plant both feet on the ground and handle what or who needs the most attention. It gives you permission to not lean into the other things and people who need you…until it is the right time to lean into them.
An important part of leaning is having a place to come back to. Your center is where you return to after you’ve leaned. Your center is most likely your health (emotional, physical, spiritual), faith, and spouse…The most important areas of your life.
You lean away from your center because you have to. You come back to your center because you need to.
There is a better way to manage life that leaves you feeling less guilty and like less of a failure. There is a way to manage your life in a way that allows you to give your energy to the right things and people at the right time. Start leaning. Stop balancing.
Casey Ross has been married to Julie for over 20 years and is the dad to one daughter and two sons. Casey and his family share some common loves: the Atlanta Falcons / United / Hawks, Mexican food, Hilton Head Island, and just about any kind of competition. Julie and Casey mentor engaged couples, lead married small groups, and lead small groups called Starting Point at their church. If Casey is not at home or work, you can probably find him at Chick fil A enjoying a Frosted Coffee and a Diet Dr Pepper or working out.
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